Effects of emerald ash borer on municipal forestry budgets

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Abstract

This study examines the financial impact of emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis Farimaire; Coleoptera: Buprestide) on municipal forestry budgets. Three distinct phases were evident: an initial time period of 0–4 years (little budget change), year 5–8 time period (rapid budget increase), and years 9–12 (rapid budget decrease) after EAB was confirmed in a state. The 5–8 year time period had increased spending as detected through the total forestry budget (p = 0.011), total municipal forestry budget (percent forestry budget) as a percentage of the total municipal budget (p < 0.001), and per capita spending (p < 0.001). A $1.58 per capita increase occurred in annual municipal forestry budgets in states in which EAB was confirmed (EAB+) compared to states without a confirmed EAB case (EAB−). This has a $280.5 (±79.9) million annual impact on municipal budgets. The percent forestry budget increased as the time since EAB was confirmed in a state increased. A mean 0.33% (0.03 SE, n = 82) percent forestry budget occurred during the initial 0–4 years after confirmation of EAB. This exponentially increased from 0.47% (0.05 SE, n = 43) in year 5 to 1.17% (0.12 SE, n = 38) at the peak in year 8, and rapidly declined back to 0.47% (0.05 SE, n = 51) in years 10–12 which was a level slightly higher than initial conditions. Federal, state, and local urban forestry managers can use these results to financially plan for the impacts of EAB on municipal forestry budgets.

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Hauer, R. J., & Peterson, W. D. (2017). Effects of emerald ash borer on municipal forestry budgets. Landscape and Urban Planning, 157, 98–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.05.023

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